Brothers Joe DeMarco and Matt DeMarco along with Alec Thomas took the five-hour drive down to Herhsey Thursday afternoon to compete in the PIAA Tennis Tournament, held at the Herhsey Racquet Club, which hosted the PIAA Team Tennis Tournament just the week before. Joe and Matt DeMarco made their way into the state draw by dropping only a handful of games at the District 10 Championship against McDowell’s number one team. Alec Thomas advanced to Hershey by defeating Sebastian Carrillo 6-1, 6-1 in the D-10 final.
The opening round pitted Dylan Tull of Cedar Crest High School versus Alec Thomas. In doubles the DeMarco brothers faced Dante Falcucci and JT Mullins from Hershey. The brothers made quick work of the hometown team, dispatching then in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Alec Thomas made the most of his court time as he jumped to a quick 4-0 lead over Tull before losing 6 straight to lose the first set. A quick comeback during the two-hour match left Alec Thomas on top 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
In the second round, the DeMarco’s cruised to an even easier victory defeating Greg Zlobinsky and Isaac Rockower from Abington 6-1, 6-0. Alec Thomas fell to senior and college commit Matt Chen 6-1, 6-4. Chen would go on to win the bronze.
In the semifinals Joe and Matt battled hard against Xandy Hammitt and Clay Gaieski who represented Strath Haven 6-1, 6-3. They now had only one more match to claim the gold. Coaches, parents, teammates, and friends gathered to watch the duo make history. Bryan Szyana and Danny Katz from Upper Dublin felt the full wrath of the speed and shot-making the DeMarco brothers could so easily produce. They cruised on service games and frequently broke the UD Team.
A 6-1, 6-2 victory on a service forced error gave the DeMarco brothers their second PIAA Gold in two years. “We played great, and we worked together well. It was important because we played as one,” said Matt DeMarco shortly after their win. Joe, a rising senior, and Matt a rising junior look to be back at the state tournament in coming years.
Alec Thomas is a former staff writer of The Rambler and a member of the Cathedral Prep Class of 2018.